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A Weekend in Dhaka
July 12, 2009, 4:23 am
Filed under: Bangladesh

I didn’t go traveling outside of Dhaka this weekend, but that doesn’t mean that both days weren’t just as insane as if I would have been. I thought I would give you guys a little synopsis on what people do in Dhaka on the weekends, so if you ever make it this way you know what to do and where to go. I also wanted to give you the opportunity to read a bit more detailed post about the things I do and the places I see.

The weekends are on Friday and Saturday here (instead of Saturday and Sunday), so I woke up on Friday morning after getting over my bout of food poisoning (one of the many charms of Bangladesh) to find myself jumping in a cab and randomly going to this lake in the ‘beautiful’ part of Dhaka- Dhanmondi. We (by ‘we’ I mean about 15 interns/white foreigners wandering around and making a ridiculous scene, as usual) ended up being taken by a new Bengali ‘friend’ we met at the lake to an ‘authentic’ Bengali restaurant called Tsunami (how appropriate). We all wanted to have a good meal and get something different than Chicken Biryani (a rice dish with chicken that is basically eaten at every meal in Mirpur, the area of Dhaka that we all reside in). However, we arrived at this restaurant to once again be confronted with Chicken Biryani. This is when one of the interns, Richard (who is hilariously endearing, but loves to make a scene) promptly stood up and demanded we go somewhere with good food.

Embarrasment aside, we actually ended up finding this AMAZING restaurant called Dhaba, which had the best food I’ve ever eaten in Bangladesh (though truthfully, most of it was Indian food). We had delicious Panipuri, Dohi Phutska, Masala Dosa, Paneer Butter Masala, Chicken Tandoori, and I had my delicious Chicken Tikka Masala with Tandoori Roti, and an egg roll that tastes exactly like the ones so sought after in Calcutta (‘an exotic breakfast food’ as one of the interns Jenny put it).

We then proceeded to go to the top of one of our Bengali friend’s roofs and stayed there for about four or five hours. What a random afternoon in the middle of Bangladesh. Afterwards, some of the boys headed to Gulshan (the ritziest area of Dhaka that houses the Westin Hotel) for a nice meal. We ended the evening with watching Prestige, which is a GOOD movie, but a disturbing one.

Saturday I went to ‘the biggest mall in SouthEast Asia’ with a French intern Johan- Bashundhara mall. I have never been to anything like it. It is eight floors, and massive. The eighth floor housed the food court- yes, the ENTIRE eighth floor was a food court. I was incredibly excited that there were about 500 food stalls open for my sampling until I realized that every 5 stalls was the same company. However, they DID have pizza there, and it was the best I’ve ever tasted in Asia (most of the pizza doesn’t taste like pizza- but this tasted a lot like Dominoes). I also bought about 15 DVDs for 1,000 taka (less than 20 dollars). Let me warn you about these DVDs though, if you want to buy them in Asia. While you can buy movies for INCREDIBLY cheap, some of them don’t work or the subtitles are terrible. Make sure you check ALL of them before buying them (most places have a TV where you can check them). I didn’t end up buying 3 DVDs (one which I really wanted) because the sound was off or the subtitles didn’t work properly.

You’d think my day would end there, but no. At around 9 PM all of us met up to go party at one of our Bengali friend’s houses, Raisa. There are no clubs in Bangladesh- there are hotel parties, or house parties. And since hotel parties are usually a bit ridiculously overpriced, we opted for the house (speaking of which, alcohol in Bangladesh is hard to come by and even more expensive than in the US- this is because people technically are not allowed to drink in Bangladesh, and only foreigners get access to it). However, it was such a beautifully extravagant place (and they cleared away alll of the breakables as soon as we arrived- smart decision with our group). The evening basically consisted of playing 21, a dance commemoration of Michael Jackson, and a long philosophical debate about free will. We then proceeded to walk the deserted streets of Dhaka at 3 AM until we found a cab- don’t try this at home, kids. Sketchy. Also, going to bed at 4:30 AM when you have work at 9 AM? Nice. This is why I don’t ever sleep here.

So anyway, Bangladesh, Party Style, Dhaka. It was a pretty awesome weekend. Next weekend I hope to make it to the Sundarbans (the forest in the south) or Cox’s Bazar (the ‘best beach in SouthEast Asia’). We’ll see where the wind takes me before moving on to India, and then finally HOME! I am already dreaming about my first meal in the States- Chipotle, here I come.

Much love,

Brittany


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Comment by adding subtitles




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